Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering Namibia

Protection of Namibia's Desert Elephants

Prior to departure to Namibia

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

In order to apply for this project you need to be over 18 and have sufficient English skills to follow the course contents. We need a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness, since you will undertake long walks in extreme temperatures. Furthermore, you might need a Visa for your volunteering work. Depending on the duration of your stay and your destination the requirements might vary. You might check out the foreign department’s website for the Visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

What services are included?

We will arrange and organize your place in the project in Namibia and help you with any kind of problems and questions during your preparation and during the project. Arrival and departure flights are not included. You will be supported by an experienced supervisor on site in Namibia. Accommodation and beverages as well as food during the project is included. Your accommodation during the weekends in Swakopmund is not included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

You will need a travel insurance to start your volunteering work with NATUCATE. We can provide you with all the necessary information. In general you need to talk to your doctor and make sure you are vaccinated against Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella. We strongly advise you to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, Polio and Tetanus. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department and inform yourself beforehand about possible risks. There are plenty of poisonous or dangerous insects and animals in Namibia – a certain kind of attentiveness is advisable.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

You don’t need special clothing for the work since workwear will be provided. You can expect high temperatures: therefor it is advisable to pack light clothes that cover a lot of skin for the day against the sun. For the nighttime longs sleeved shirts and long pants are necessary to protect you from the cooler temperatures and mosquito bites. Furthermore you will need hiking boots, gloves, raining clothes, a headpiece, sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle. For your life on the camping sites you will need sufficient camping gear like a sleeping bag, lighter, knife etc.

Arrival in Namibia

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We will support you during your organization and planning process. You will have to book your flight to Walvis Bay on your own. You will probably get a plane ticket to the capital Windhoek and continue to Swakopmund by bus. You should arrive in Windhoek by 12 o’clock on a Sunday the latest to calculate enough time for further transfer.

What happens after my arrival?

We advise you to arrive in Windhoek the weekend before the project begins. This way you will have enough time to get to Swakopmund. On Sunday evening the team and project will be introduced officially. The project begins on Monday morning at 11 a.m. You will run some errands and head out to the basecamp three hours away from Swakopmund.

During the project in Namibia

What is the project’s procedure?

During the first week you will support the local population with some building measures. Around noon there will be some time for a break to escape the powerful sun. The second week focuses on your work regarding the elephant research. You will observe their behavior and monitor their walking paths. The days during the second week will start quite early.

The project begins on Monday at 11 a.m.in Swakopmund and ends two weeks later on a Friday at 14 p.m. There will be a final dinner for all participants at the end of the course.

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

The main goal of this project is to get humans and animals closer together and enable them to live together. Development assistance and education in the villages is the priority number one. You will help to build wells, construct protecting corridors or fences and try to find a way to protect elephants from human settlements. You will be involved in elephant research and learn to understand their movement patterns. You will learn how to orientate yourself in the nature by using maps and GPS. Furthermore you will learn how to set up a camp in the open and survive in the nature. During the project you will help out whenever there is a problem. The work depends on current needs or problems that occur.

How big is the group?

We try to keep the group as small as possible to assure the safety, learning quality and process of the project. Generally there won’t be more than 14 people in one group.

Life on site in Namibia

What is the accommodation like?

Your housing will be simple. The mobile camps will be set up somewhere close to the base stations. You will spend the night with one more participant in a tent. Sanitary facilities are limited and most of the time you won’t be able to use a flush toilette or a real shower. During the second week there won’t be any kind of facilities at all.

Is it possible to get placed with a partner or friend?

It is possible to get placed with your friend, but it depends on the current occupancy of the project.

How is the food provided?

During the project the whole team will cook over an open fire and eat together. The kitchen service will rotate and every volunteer has to help eventually. You will cook simple but balanced meals.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

Yes, it is possible to eat vegetarian during the project.

How are working hours and free time divided?

Your time on the project usually has a duration of 14 days. You will be working at daytime and have free time in the evenings. On the last Friday you will start your transfer back to Swakopmund where you will spend your last weekend with free time.

How can I spend my free time?

During the weekends you will have time to discover Swakopmund and experience the Namibian nature. You can have dinner and some drinks at the bars and restaurants or relax somewhere along the beautiful beaches. You can also stay at the camp and enjoy the peacefulness of the wildness.

Do I have a contact person on site?

On site you will be working with a team of volunteers and project leaders. The supervisors will be responsible for you and may help you with your problems.

What costs do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

During the project you won’t need a lot of money. You might need money for snacks and additional beverages. You might also need money if you want to spend some night in the city. You will also need money for any kind of private trips.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

You can contact your family while your time in Swakopmund. There you can go to an internet café or inform yourself about prepaid cards. Reception or internet is seldom available during the project.

Am I allowed to take my phone with me?

Yes, generally you are allowed to take it with you. But every time you are out in nature we ask you to leave it at the camp. To protect animals from poaching cell phones they are restricted in the reservation area.

What’s the weather like?

The project will take place at Damaraland. There you will be confronted with a dry climate and high temperature. The desert has a raining season starting in January and ending in March/April.

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